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  1. #1
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Reading in May 2009

    This is where you tell us what you're reading in Fantasy and Horror this month. Good or bad, please let us know what you thought.

    Mark
    Mark

  2. #2
    Registered User BrightStar's Avatar
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    I finished The Book of Joby today. Overall, it was a stunning book and I read the last 200 or so pages in one sitting. As the need drew closer, I just couldn't put it down.

    Spoiler:
    Unfortunately, I did feel that the overall quality of the book's plot began to decline during the end.

    In short: GB utterly spoilt it for me.

    He just had too much influence. Too much importance to the overal direction of the plot. The way he drove Joby to do things by telling him "they're bad -- I read their minds!" got a bit tedious. It was, I fear, overused and too conveniant a means of manipulating people.

    It was all too obvious, and one thing I loved about The Book of Joby up until the end was that evil was such a subtle thing. Hardly obvious at all. That's what made the book, in general, so thought-provoking for me.

    The end didn't turn out at all like I expected. Sure, I thought that Lucifer would think he'd won. But I also expected that I, the reader, would also fear that he had done so, too. But I didn't. Joby had clearly defeated the devil, and then Lucifer killed him. There just wasn't as much sense of conflict and suspense to the end as I'd have liked.

    I also thought there was no need to allow Joby to be brought back to life. A bitter-sweet kinda ending would have been far more effective, in my opinion.


    Aside from that though, I really did enjoy The Book of Joby.

    I'm on to reading book one in the Paradise War, now: The Song of Albion Not so sure what to expect with this one, but it's going to have a hard time competing against The Book of Joby.

  3. #3
    Sony Reader PRS-650 Astra_'s Avatar
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    Finished Nation by Terry Pratchett

    The first serious book?
    Who said it was a serious book? It was a parody on serious writing. The whole book was bloated with preachy mumbo-jumbo. A pitiful attempt to find answers on the most basic questions human kind ever worried about. Deities (are they real or not)? Is there an afterlife or not? What is fair and unfair? Enforcing 11-13 years old kids to act as 25 years mature people.
    While reading this book I had a feeling that I am watching a badly written stage play of one-dimensional unlikeable characters.

    1/10



    Next one is probably The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. Lets see whether it lives up to the hype or not.
    Last edited by Astra_; May 1st, 2009 at 09:32 AM.

  4. #4
    Just finished The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Not SForF but a lot of SF&F references.

  5. #5
    http://is.gd/4flJX Gilgamesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astra_ View Post
    Next one is probably The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. Lets see whether it lives up to the hype or not.
    Say one thing for The Blade Itself, say that it lives up to the hype

  6. #6
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh View Post
    Say one thing for The Blade Itself, say that it lives up to the hype
    Yes, nice. Hey, I picked up The Fall of Ossard. I'll read it next. We'll see how it goes.

  7. #7
    Finished the Tawny Man Trilogy (felt like all the wrap-ups were a little too pat, but the writing was good) by Robin Hobb, and am now reading Imager be L.E. Modesitt Jr.

    I have not read any of his works before, and am enjoying this book so far. Interesting magic set-up, although it seems like only morality and power level prevents a person from totally abusing it. Maybe it will get more defined as I continue - I am in the first third of the book or so.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by BrightStar View Post
    I'm on to reading book one in the Paradise War, now: The Song of Albion Not so sure what to expect with this one, but it's going to have a hard time competing against The Book of Joby.
    I got through the first book but didn't much enjoy that series too much. The plot seemed forced and unconvincing, and a little too much mysticism for me. Good if you're looking solely for Celtic fantasy, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astra_ View Post
    Finished Nation by Terry Pratchett

    The first serious book?
    Who said it was a serious book? It was a parody on serious writing. The whole book was bloated with preachy mumbo-jumbo. A pitiful attempt to find answers on the most basic questions human kind ever worried about. Deities (are they real or not)? Is there an afterlife or not? What is fair and unfair? Enforcing 11-13 years old kids to act as 25 years mature people.
    While reading this book I had a feeling that I am watching a badly written stage play of one-dimensional unlikeable characters.
    It's unusual that I disagree too strongly about book reviews, but I positively adored Nation. And I don't think it's unrealistic to expect 11-13 year-olds to wonder about deities and truth. I was wondering about those same topics when I was that old, and I would have loved to have read a book like this. I didn't, I was reading mostly Stephen King and Tom Clancy at the time, since I wasn't even really aware of the YA book market. Then again, I think that Pratchett wrote in Nation a book that could be enjoyed by people of all ages, and I think I took different things away from it as an adult than I would have as a teenager. I must admit that it is rather preachy, but it wasn't too much for me, especially since I agreed with much of the ideology.

    Now, I may have seriously missed something, and maybe it actually was a "parody on serious writing." I can be gullible from time to time. One other factor could be that I listened to Nation as an audiobook almost all in one sitting, and I have noticed that listening to a book can be a different experience from reading words on a page. I think Nation lended itself well to that format. To each his own, I guess, but I just have to put in a good word for such a good book.
    Last edited by Amaunette; May 1st, 2009 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Are 11-13 year olds pre-teens or teenagers? I decided on teenagers.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Aurian View Post
    ...now reading Imager be L.E. Modesitt Jr.

    I have not read any of his works before, and am enjoying this book so far. Interesting magic set-up, although it seems like only morality and power level prevents a person from totally abusing it. Maybe it will get more defined as I continue - I am in the first third of the book or so.
    I haven't read Imager yet, but I've read all of Modesitt's Recluce books and I'd say your observation about morality and power is probably correct, as it seems to be a common aspect of all his books.

    I'm still reading Kushiel's Scion, which I started a couple days ago. I'm about 125 pages in and so far, while I'm not sure it's as good as the first trilogy, it's still pretty good.

  10. #10
    I finished "The Absence" by Bill Hussey. I am impressed by the works of Bill Hussey. Although I liked more his debut novel published last year, "Through a Glass, Darkly", his second novel is not far behind and reflects an improvement in the author's career. And if Bill Hussey would write more such novels I believe he will become one of the heavy names of horror fiction.

  11. #11
    Registered User BrightStar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaunette View Post
    I got through the first book but didn't much enjoy that series too much. The plot seemed forced and unconvincing, and a little too much mysticism for me. Good if you're looking solely for Celtic fantasy, though.
    I'm about halfway through book one at the moment, and currently undecided as to whether I want to continue the series or not. It's a nice, easy read, but the whole introduction of the conflict (the Otherworld being in danger) was far, far, far too complicated for me to really be able to appreciate what was going on. There was too much mumbo-jumbo, and not really anything about things that I felt I had much of an emotional sympathy for.

    It's not exactly a page turner, and it took me about 60 pages to really start to warm to this book. Now I'm finding it fun enough, but really don't know if I want to read the entire series. (Plus, I think the book covers are some of the most awful ones I've ever seen!) The book and its world is interesting, and right now I'm sort of going along with things because I'm kinda curious to see what's going to happen next - this is good, of course, but I can't help feeling that there doesn't seem like much of a sense of conflict. I'm going to get bored soon, I fear. And I really, really don't like Simon, which makes it a bit awkward when he's the one that the main character is trying to save.

  12. #12
    Felis silvestris Hellions's Avatar
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    I finished Magician: Master, the second volume of the author's preferred edition of Magician. The entire thing was fairly enjoyable: adequate characterizations and some interesting plot twists. My only gripe is that I found the development of Tomas to be utterly generic and well... boring.

    In the end, I'm glad I tried out Feist. I'll fish out the sequel Silverthorn from my TBR pile at some point.
    Last edited by Hellions; May 2nd, 2009 at 11:16 AM.

  13. #13
    Sony Reader PRS-650 Astra_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh View Post
    Say one thing for The Blade Itself, say that it lives up to the hype
    3 or 4 chapters in (of 48).
    I am not saying I don't like it. Too early anyway and I would read at least half of the book to decide but it has one big flaw. I expected to read a fantasy series. so far, it feels like I am reading some sort of historical fiction about Europeans coming to America (conquistadors)....but I might be wrong (I hope I am wrong).

  14. #14
    Registered User BrightStar's Avatar
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    I'm struggling with Song of Albion. Its slow and tedious start had me kinda hoping that when things did begin to get interesting, it would all get better. I read a few more chapters today, now up to around page 200, and seriously doubting whether I want to buy the rest in the series.

    And, since I don't really think I'm going to continue once I get to the end of book one, what's the point of finishing the first book? I'm not really sure what it is about the title that's putting me off, it just feels slow and tedious. I don't really care about the characters, and there's little conflict right now except for the main character's struggles to "fit in".

    I still don't like Simon, don't much like the main character, and any other character that's gained any interest from me seems to vanish without a mention once they've served their purpose.

    I'm struggling with this one, and think I might just give it up.

  15. #15
    http://is.gd/4flJX Gilgamesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterWilliam View Post
    Hey, I picked up The Fall of Ossard. I'll read it next. We'll see how it goes.
    I'm still waiting for my copy... "Snail" mail it is...

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